I’m listening to my sprinklers run while my dishwasher sloshes and purrs. I’m thinking about this post, by the artist Patricia van Essche.
She wrote about acceptance and its impact on experience and art. Here’s the thing. I know of only two modes in which acceptance doesn’t feel like giving up. This may be a personal quirk, but so be it.
I can feel acceptance when sitting very, very still on a sofa. Or the edge of a city fountain. In those moments I accept that all that is happening is happening right then. Even right there. I take a breath. Breath is the most accepting act of all, we let air into our bodies.
Alternatively, I feel acceptance when I’m moving forward – with trust in the process of motion. This is different from moving towards a goal or vision, when, by definition, we are refusing to accept the current state of affairs. In that case we make an effort to get where we are going, rather than focus on what we’ve already learned how to do.
I’ll say it one more time, in bold, because I want to remember. Moving forward with trust in the process of motion. The motion can be our own particular process of thought, by the way, doesn’t have to be physical.
Paradoxically, the only way I know to come to trust a process of motion is practice. As dancers learn to trust the leap, and swimmers the hard pool edge. Practice, of course, means trying or intent.
So most of us will have to spend a long time trying, in order to finally marry struggle to surrender, and proceed in that state of acceptance. Otherwise known here and there as the state of grace.
Have a wonderful weekend.